Z Force (also known as the Services Reconnaissance Department (SRD) is a secret Australian Special Forces specialist reconnaissance and sabotage unit during World War II.
The force is deployed to recover the passengers of a downed Allied plane – including the Minister of War – in the Japanese occupied Dutch East Indies with the help of an underground Chinese resistance movement.
Captain Paul Kelly (Mel Gibson) leads a multinational group of derring-doers on the secret mission and the screen is soon awash with corpses and tomato sauce.
Despite a cast including Gibson and Sam Neill who both went on to fame and fortune in Hollywood, the acting is pretty standard average Aussie fare and the film is a dull, cliche-ridden affair.
The movie – filmed in Taiwan and originally titled Zedmen – performed badly at the box office in Australia.
After a poor run in cinemas in Melbourne in June 1982, it wasn’t released anywhere else in Australia. It found more success as a video release on Roadshow Home Video.
Captain Paul Kelly
Lieutenant Jan Veitch
John Phillip Law
Sergeant Danny Costello
Able Seaman ‘Sparrer’ Bird
Sub Lt. Ted ‘Kingo’ King